The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

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Simon and Schuster, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 438 pages
7 Reviews
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING JEREMY IRONS AND DEV PATEL!

In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius, Hardy arranged for Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to England. Thus began one of the most improbable and productive collaborations ever chronicled. With a passion for rich and evocative detail, Robert Kanigel takes us from the temples and slums of Madras to the courts and chapels of Cambridge University, where the devout Hindu Ramanujan, 'the Prince of Intuition,' tested his brilliant theories alongside the sophisticated and eccentric Hardy, 'the Apostle of Proof.' In time, Ramanujan's creative intensity took its toll: he died at the age of thirty-two and left behind a magical and inspired legacy that is still being plumbed for its secrets today.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ajlewis2 - LibraryThing

The book seems to be a complete and honest biography of Ramanujan with a good deal about Hardy as well. I would give it a 5-star for content, but the writing is not really at that level in my opinion ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

Mostly because if it were titled The Man Who Knew Number Theory it wouldn’t sell as many copies. If you do a biography of a great musician or great artist or great author, you’ve got it easy. There ... Read full review

Contents

to 1914
159
SixRAMANUJANS SPRING1914 to 1916
197
SevenTHE ENGLISH CHILL1916 to 1918
239
EightIN SOMEWHAT INDIFFERENT HEALTH
311
The Final Problem
322
A Son of India
329
Ramanujan Reborn
341
Better Blast Furnaces?
348
Svayambhu
358
Notes
375
Selected Bibliography
392
272
405
322
411
375
417
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About the author (1992)

Robert Kanigel is the author of six previous books. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Grady-Stack Award for science writing. His book The Man Who Knew Infinity was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Harvard Magazine, and Psychology Today. He has just retired as Professor of Science Writing at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and now lives in Baltimore.

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